Raised on Long Island, martial artist and novelist John Donohue was interested in writing and fascinated with other cultures at any early age, deciding to become an anthropologist.
Always a bookish kid, John was attracted to the Asian martial disciplines because of their dual emphasis on philosophy and action, but it wasn’t until he entered college that he began studying them in earnest, starting with Shotokan Karatedo and eventually branching out into other arts as well.
He received his B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Asian Studies from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and later received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the same university. His doctoral dissertation on the cultural aspects of the Japanese martial arts formed the basis for his first book, The Forge of the Spirit .
John has worked in the hospitality, advertising, and publishing industries, but for the bulk of his non-writing career he has been a higher education professional, working as both a teacher and administrator at a number of colleges in New York state.
During that time he continued to think about and do martial arts. He wrote Warrior Dreams: The Martial Arts and the American Imagination as a companion piece to Forge of the Spirit . Always interested in the spiritual dimension of martial training, he wrote Herding the Ox: The Martial Arts as Moral Metaphor . Fascinated with the process of learning the the modern Way of the Sword (kendo), he wrote Complete Kendo .
John is also the author of many articles on the martial arts. Along the way, John has trained in the martial disciplines of aikido, iaido, judo, karatedo, kendo, and taiji. He has dan (black belt) ranks in both karatedo and kendo. After completing Warrior Dreams , John began thinking about the fictional possibilities inherent in the world of the martial arts. He began working in earnest on Sensei , the first Connor Burke thriller, in 2000. He has just completed the second in the series, Deshi, and is working on the third "burkebook